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Tsuyoiko
20-12-05, 16:17
The UK hasn't joined the single European currency yet, and personally I doubt it would make much difference if we did - apart from making it much more convenient for people who regularly travel through Europe.

Those of you that have seen the adoption of the Euro in your country, what do you think of it? Have prices gone up? Has it made travel easier for you? Anything else?

Europeans whose country hasn't adopted it yet - do you think your country should adopt it?

Visitors - did the Euro encourage you to visit more countries?

Jack
20-12-05, 16:21
i honestly hope we never throw away the british sterling, but once the monarchy fall's, who's face will be on the coins?

Maciamo
20-12-05, 16:34
i honestly hope we never throw away the british sterling, but once the monarchy fall's, who's face will be on the coins?

Have you ever seen the Euro coins (http://www.euro.ecb.int/en/section/euro0/specific.BE.html) ? In Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain, the king or queen's face is on the Euro coins. It would be the same for the UK. Once the monarchy falls (the sooner the better, in any country), the country will be able to choose a truly representative symbol, as for non-monarchic EU countries. Some countries have chosen famous people (e.g. Austria has Mozart) or buildings (Branderbuger Tor on German coins)...

To answer Tsuyoiko's question, I find it much easier to have the euro, and I haven't really yet lived in Euro since it was introduced. Just going from Amsterdam or Paris airport to Brussels is more of a hassle without the euro. Then, Benelux countries are so small that driving 1 or 2h we are already in another country. Once, I went to Belgium from London with the Eurostar, and didn't have any euro with me (only pounds), so I couldn't even make a phone call or buy a drink when I arrived in Brussels, without chaning money first. Then the euro adds a lot of transparency in prices. I can easily compare prices of shops (on the internet) in France, Belgium, Germany or the Netherlands, to decide where I will go shopping, or where I should order goods from or fill the car tank. I can order clothes or books from websites in Italy, or Finland without having to convert currencies or be charged for the change. Even for statistics, I can compare more easily average salaries, the cost of life, etc. It's much more convenient.

Jack
20-12-05, 17:00
Have you ever seen the Euro coins (http://www.euro.ecb.int/en/section/euro0/specific.BE.html) ? In Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain, the king or queen's face is on the Euro coins. It would be the same for the UK. Once the monarchy falls (the sooner the better, in any country), the country will be able to choose a truly representative symbol, as for non-monarchic EU countries. Some countries have chosen famous people (e.g. Austria has Mozart) or buildings (Branderbuger Tor on German coins)...

when i went to France they were using the euro note, but i was still able to use the franc's, never really got to see the euro coin to be honest.

Mycernius
20-12-05, 18:24
Personally I think the introduction of the Euro was rushed and pushed onto the people of various European countries. Governments wanted it, people didn't. The French had three referendums until they got the result they wanted. If the third had said no, they would have a fourth, fifth, etc until the government had finally got its way. The Germans were upset because they didn't even have a choice. I have heard of shops in Italy who have Lira days and their custom goes up. It should have been given more time and phased in along with local currencies until people got used to it. The idea is sound, just they way it was introduced was botched. I'm glad the UK isn't in it at the moment. Blair upset about it, but tough, it's up to Gordon Brown to decide whether our economy is fit enough for it. And Gordon is not a big fan of the Euro.

Maciamo
20-12-05, 19:17
when i went to France they were using the euro note, but i was still able to use the franc's, never really got to see the euro coin to be honest.

Then you must have gone just during the transition period in the first months of 2002. Since June 2002 (I think), only the euro can be used in all Euro-zone countries.

Maciamo
20-12-05, 19:23
Personally I think the introduction of the Euro was rushed and pushed onto the people of various European countries. Governments wanted it, people didn't. The French had three referendums until they got the result they wanted. If the third had said no, they would have a fourth, fifth, etc until the government had finally got its way.
...

Personally, I have been waiting for the euro ever since I was a child, when the project was still called ECU (European Currency Unit) at the time... I can't think of any valid reason to be against the euro. In some countries, prices have gone up, but only because customers were willing to pay more, or didn't take the inflation into consideration, or just spend more because it feels cheaper (prices in euro being "smaller" than in former currencies)... From this point of view, it stimulates the already too stingy consumer spendings in the Euro-zone, so it's good for business, which means eventually good for people in work.

Mycernius
20-12-05, 21:17
As I said the concept is a good idea. The closer the ties within Europe the better we are with one currency. Eventually the EU will become a federated state, whether people like it or not, but I feel that this is the way the world is going. My objections are to the way it was introduced and forced upon countries. People do not like sudden change and in Europe where traditions can still run high people will object. I feel that the EU as a whole is going to fast and should slow down and sort its internal problems out ie: a proper budget and proper policies rather than the every country for itself attitude that is currently prevelent.

Maciamo
20-12-05, 21:22
My objections are to the way it was introduced and forced upon countries. People do not like sudden change and in Europe where traditions can still run high people will object. I feel that the EU as a whole is going to fast and should slow down and sort its internal problems out ie: a proper budget and proper policies rather than the every country for itself attitude that is currently prevelent.

If governments always had to take heed of the objections of some citizens, there would have been no TGV (the Eurostar still runs at the speed of a normal train on the English section because of British Nimbies), and probably no industrial revolution, no space flights, no genetic engeneering, no scientific experiments on animals, no abortion, and we might still live in a world closer to the 18th century than what it is now.

Duo
20-12-05, 21:30
I wish the Euro would be adopted the soonest possible by GB and the other reluctant Scandinavian countries... It makes life a lot easier for everyone. Also Britain still is not fully into the shengen zone...i find the reluctant or "we are different attitude" that the UK has to be quite annoying. I don't mean to offend the british members here but in a way talkin about Europe and and so forth and not living up to the necessary tasks is a bit hypocritical.

Mycernius
20-12-05, 21:41
Believe me when I say I know people who would be happier in the 18th century:-) . The industrial revolution was done off the backs of ordinary people. The government were the ones playing catch-up and regulating what was already happening, as with most advancements.
My problem is that the EU wants to expand and yet the budget has not been ratified again. Spending money and each to his own. Corruption must be dealt with and bureaucracy bought under control. It doesn't help with the holders of the EU presidency wasting time, such as Tony Blair has done, trying to appeal to their own people rather than the union as a whole.

Maciamo
20-12-05, 21:42
i find the reluctant or "we are different attitude" that the UK has to be quite annoying. I don't mean to offend the british members here but in a way talkin about Europe and and so forth and not living up to the necessary tasks is a bit hypocritical.

I also find it annoying, especially that British people are far from being as different as they claim. In fact, Belgian people are so close to British people in so many ways, that I wonder if they are not the closest country in lifestyle and culture (as I explained in this thread (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20910)). France is close to Belgium too, especially regarding the structure of the government and legal system, but maybe less in the national character.

Mycernius
20-12-05, 21:46
Its just typical British stubborness and memories of the Empire. Plus we know it annoys the French:-)

m477
20-12-05, 23:39
I've seen several articles about how many people in Italy are unhappy with the Euro and want to return to the lira. Are there any Italians on this board that can comment about that?

Duo
20-12-05, 23:53
I watch Italian tv daily and the biggest protests there were that prices were jacked higher by salespeople with the coming of the euro...plus italy has been in an economic sort of slump or imobility lately so politicans tend to justify it at times that the whole euro zone is suffering so that they don't get voted out of power. But i havent heard about changing bak to the lira... it would be ludicrous

Maciamo
21-12-05, 00:49
Here is a 133-page report (latter half in French) of the Eurobarometer about the euro (http://europa.eu.int/comm/public_opinion/flash/fl175_en.pdf) 4 years after its introduction. Statistics are very detailed. To the question "today the euro continues to cause you a lot of difficulties", people in all countries have answered "not at all" at the majority, except in Italy where 1/3 have no problem, 1/3 some difficulties and 1/3 a lot of difficulties. Maybe the Italians are particularily bad at maths. :D Strange as they had fairly easy to mentally convert lire into euro, just dividing by 2000 (the French had a harder time, having to divide by 6.5 or something). The Greeks are second for those with "a lot of difficulties" (15%).

The stats also show that older people have more difficulties (fairly obvious), but also less educated people, and unemployed people (high correlation between the two anyway). 19% more people who stopped school before the age of 16 encounter difficulties than people who stayed until their 20's. Women also have noticebly more difficulty with the new currency (11% more than men).

95% of Irish people count in euro for daily expenses, against only 44% of Portuguese and 45% of Italians at the other extreme.

In some countries, people have reacted majoritarily by buying less by faer of buying too much (like 55% of the Germans and 44% of the Italians), while in others, people have spent more because of difficulty realising how much they spend (like 43% of the Finns and 36% of the Belgians). I am not sure if this has a direct influence on the economy (GDP growth ?), but Germany and Italy's economies have not really improved, while Finland and Belgium are on the up side.

We also see that in all Euro-zone countries, over 50% of the people don't know that withdrawing euros with a bank card in another euro-zone country does NOT entail extra cost. The most knowledgeable countries in this matter were Belgium with 41% and the Netherlands with 37% of correct answers. Yet, Luxembourg had the lowest score of all countries (very strange, as most people there would have experienced withdrawing in a neighbouring country).

Between 81% and 95% of Euro-zone citizens also believed that the euro contributed in an increase in prices. This is by far the strongest criticism against the euro (almost the only one according to the stats). I believe that the "round-ups" will stabilise within a few years, whe inflation will have reached up with them.

Between 66% and 90% of Europeans believe that the Euro has become an international currency like the US$ and the yen. I wonder why some people still doubt it. The Euro is much more important than the yen already.

The vast majority of Euro-zone citizens don't care about the change rate of the euro against the US dollar, and most believe that the Euro-zone should be and will be enlarged. A majority also believes that there should be more cooperation between Eu countries than there is now.

Tsuyoiko
21-12-05, 12:22
Wow! I didn't expect so many replies! Reading all your comments, I am more positive about the idea now - I wasn't negative before, just indifferent. Since I do a lot of internet shopping I'm sure I would be able to find some good bargains from other EU countries if the UK was in the Euro.

nurizeko
04-03-06, 12:57
The pound is good for britain, i dont want the euro,and from what i gather, most britons dont want it either.

As for a federated europe, its a fantasy, as ive always said, europe is just too diverse for this forced artificial unity called the united states of europe.


I think mac, your into this united europe thing because your always travelling, you dont seem to hold much loyalty to one nation or another, but that doesnt mean others dont, most europeans have to live in their country most if not all their lives, and hold their independence above all else.

So this idea of a united europe istoo rushed and wont work, all its going to lead to at worst is a war, and hopefully, at least, this federated europe crap collapsing in a pile of rubble and reality.

The different languages, the different cultural sensitivities, sensibilities....geography, its just not practical this united europe lark, to keep europe united in such a federation would take so much paperwork, it would collapse under the weight to try and accomadate everyone, and if it didnt, it would be effectively applying a totalitarian repressive one size fits all crap. And people would feel opressed.

The united states works because the vast majority of its "states" are comprised of english speaking western europeans who have had to adapt to one culture in the process of imigration and settling.

I guess the lowland countries (netherlands, belgium the such) are more keen on a united europe because these countries are constantly getting invaded by one european power or another, or wars taking place there, but other parts of europe have had more stable histories to establish their own identities and cultures and languages.

If a federated europe comes to pass, its going to have to effectively crush and opress the local culture and national identity if it stands any serious chance of maintaining its existance, and that, people, is what we call totalitarian opressive regimes, like the soviet empire orthe chinese in tibet, and as we all know, all empires eventually collapse.

So are we going to continue this historical vicious cycle of rise and fall of empires, except with the new fashionable ladel of united or federation, or are we going to promote european trade and peace instead?.

Maciamo
05-03-06, 13:19
As for a federated europe, its a fantasy, as ive always said, europe is just too diverse for this forced artificial unity called the united states of europe.

I could say the same for the USA, Canada and Australia. Either you are for the dismantling of the USA in 50 countries, or for a more unified Europe, or you would have a hard time reconciling your argument that "diversity" has any link with national government. Actually, the UK is maybe more diverse and cosmopolitan than the 10 new EU members together (not so many immigrants).



I think mac, your into this united europe thing because your always travelling, you dont seem to hold much loyalty to one nation or another, but that doesnt mean others dont, most europeans have to live in their country most if not all their lives, and hold their independence above all else.

In fact, it is because I am travelled a lot and lived in many countries, that I realised that Europe is so similar in its diversity (yes, even compared to other Western countries like the USA or Australia, but much more so compared to Asian, Middle-Eastern or African countries). My stay in Japan only reinforced my vision of unity of Europe (as opposed to Japan, China, India, Iran, the Arab World, etc.).


The different languages, the different cultural sensitivities, sensibilities....geography, its just not practical this united europe lark, to keep europe united in such a federation would take so much paperwork, it would collapse under the weight to try and accomadate everyone, and if it didnt, it would be effectively applying a totalitarian repressive one size fits all crap. And people would feel opressed.

:D For your information, the USA is 3x bigger than the EU in land area. Does that mean that it is "effectively applying a totalitarian repressive one size fits all crap" type of system ? India has 22 official languages, and each state ha its own official language, like in the EU. What makes India more a country than the EU now ? Note that for me, the EU already is a country (yeah, it's written on my passport and driving licence, and yours too, which is the exact same colour and design, by the way). There is no need to change the government dramatically. In Belgium, states like Flanders and Wallonia have about as much power or freedom as EU-member states have from the EU institutions, if not more. That shows me that the "EU to member states" relation is pretty much the same as the "member states to regional states" relation. That's why I call the EU a "dual federal system" (i.e. there are 3 levels of parliament : EU, member-state, and in some cases regional ones too, like in Scotland).



The united states works because the vast majority of its "states" are comprised of english speaking western europeans who have had to adapt to one culture in the process of imigration and settling.

India and China are more diversed and bigger in land area than the EU...


I guess the lowland countries (netherlands, belgium the such) are more keen on a united europe because these countries are constantly getting invaded by one european power or another, or wars taking place there, but other parts of europe have had more stable histories to establish their own identities and cultures and languages.

Then why don't British people feel even more European than Benelux people then ? After all, Britain was first settled by the (black-haired) "original Britons", the by the (red-haired) Celts (from the continent), then by the Romans (from Italy), then by the Anglo-Saxons (from Northern Germany and Netherlands), then by the Vikings (from Scandinavia), then by the Normands (from France again). After that came a wave of immigrants from the whole world, especially South Asia, Africa and the Carribeans. In my eyes, Britain is more ethnically and culturally diverse than almost any other EU member state. Which Eu country can boast 6 official languages like the UK ? (including to extinct ones !)


If a federated europe comes to pass, its going to have to effectively crush and opress the local culture and national identity if it stands any serious chance of maintaining its existance, and that, people, is what we call totalitarian opressive regimes, like the soviet empire orthe chinese in tibet, and as we all know, all empires eventually collapse

In a non democratic system, I agree with you. Had all Europe been unified by one European country (e.g. Napoleon's France, or Hitler's Germany), it would have become as you describe. But European countries peacefully decided of their own will to unite (like the 13 original US colonies) and found a common government (the EU Commission), parliament, court of justice, and many other institutions (http://www.eupedia.com/directory/26111/38994/index.html). The local cultures have not been crushed. On the contrary, the EU, which promotes diversity and mutual understanding from its very roots, allowed "oppressed" regions of Europe (Basque country, Corsica, Northern Ireland...) to feel more themselves, get more autonomy from the member-state's government, revive their language (e.g. Wales, Ireland, Baque country...), and get development funds that their member-state's government wouldn't grant them. The EU also finances cultural exchange programmes to promote the learning of other EU languages, and mutual understanding. Any European who has been to university will know about the Erasmus/Socrates programme (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_programme). But how many know that this mostly free exchange programme between EU universities exists thanks to the European Union ?

No country has ever been formed from the common will of many existing countries to merge into a federal system. The EU is unique and cannot therefore be compared to past, totalitarian "empires". I love learning about the world, governments, history, etc., and the EU has the merits of protecting cultural diversity better than any other countries have done it before. It is partly thanks to the EU that Scotland got it's parliament and autonomy from the UK, that Welsh and Irish Gaelic are taught at school again (when they had been banned for so long by the British government). Don't delude yourself, the UK could not be as tolerant as it is now without EU pressure.

Do not confuse the people at the EU with those of member-state governments. Their interests are different. The UK would always oppose the independence of Northern Ireland, because it is not in the interests of the politicians and civil servants in London (who can levy taxes on Northern Irish citizens). But seen within the EU, it doesn't matter whether Northern Ireland be with the UK, with the Republic or Ireland or alone. That's why the EU can truly give people what they want, but narrow-minded member-state government, concerned with their own little power, can't.

Elizabeth van Kampen
07-03-06, 11:12
I love being a European, and not only being a Dutch woman.
I am sorry that Switzerland and Norway don't want to join us...yet.
I hope that Turkey will stay our partner in the NATO

Kinsao
07-03-06, 14:39
As far as 'united Europe' goes, it is a big thing, much bigger than just a single currency, I have to think more (and read more) in order to post about that.

About pounds sterling/Euro, I don't really mind, I would mind if I was to notice the change being used as a way of sneaking prices up :okashii: but otherwise it would make it easier when travelling abroad and buying things online. :-)

It is just the concern, is it good for the economy? And I don't know the economy well enough to make an answer... :worried:

But I have no sense of 'national identity' to worry about British money. :)

nurizeko
09-03-06, 19:54
The UK would always oppose the independence of Northern Ireland, because it is not in the interests of the politicians and civil servants in London (who can levy taxes on Northern Irish citizens). But seen within the EU, it doesn't matter whether Northern Ireland be with the UK, with the Republic or Ireland or alone. That's why the EU can truly give people what they want, but narrow-minded member-state government, concerned with their own little power, can't.

What if the northern irish dont want to be european, would the federated EU tolerate that aswell?.
And north ireland is part of the UK because thats where most of the british settlers set down, and thats where most "irish" wish to remain british citizens.

You cant claim britain is somehow hanging onto north ireland because were just land grabbers, most of the british empire was allowed to break away peacefully, if i remember "if a member of the british empire wanted independence and could function so, it was welcome to it", thats a quote i remember, now, the break up of the british empire wasnt entirely peaceful, but much moreso then frances or other european empires.

Also i highly doubt europe forced britain into being more multi-cultural and tolerant, thats our own choice, i dont remember seeing a european telling our government and local authorities and parliament to be tolerant, thats a home grown thing.

The scottish parliament was also home-grown, the scottish wanted it, we got it, i dont remember seeing the EU politicians pressuring london for it, i dont remember seeing EU politicians building it themselves.

Maciamo
11-03-06, 12:06
What if the northern irish dont want to be european, would the federated EU tolerate that aswell?.

Absolutely. Any member-state is free to leave the EU whenever they want (i.e. if a majority of the population and/or politicians are against). This is clearly stipulated in the EU Treaties. But why would any part of Ireland want to leave the EU when it has proven so profitable to them ? Before joining the EU, Ireland was one of the poorest Western European country. Now it is one of the richest in GDP per capita (2nd in the EU after Luxembourg !).



Also i highly doubt europe forced britain into being more multi-cultural and tolerant, thats our own choice, i dont remember seeing a european telling our government and local authorities and parliament to be tolerant, thats a home grown thing.

Then you should check EU directives to their member-states. Remember Europe before the EU ? WWI, WWII, not really what I call tolerance... How did (do) Brits call the Germans during these wars again ?


The scottish parliament was also home-grown, the scottish wanted it, we got it, i dont remember seeing the EU politicians pressuring london for it, i dont remember seeing EU politicians building it themselves.

Being inside the EU certainly helped the decision, as decentralisation has become a trend supported by the EU's more fundamental values (e.g. regional identity, respect of minority languages and cultures...)